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Mental Health Champions – Foundation free mental health training

Mental Health Champions – Foundation free mental health training

Our online, free mental health training will provide you with a deeper understanding of children's mental health. Whether you're learning about it for the first time or refreshing your current knowledge, join our Mental Health Champions – Foundation programme wherever you are in the country.


Our CPD-certified Mental Health Champions - Foundation programme is an award-winning online free mental health training course developed from our work in schools. The programme aims to:

  • enhance understanding of children and young people’s mental health in school staff, trainee teachers and youth groups

  • introduce approaches that support positive wellbeing in schools, colleges and communities.

The course is suitable for people working with children and young people of any age.

90% feel the course has increased their readiness to lead a positive approach to mental health and wellbeing within their work.

What is a mental health champion?

A mental health champion is someone who wants to raise awareness of mental health and challenge stigma around it. Mental health champions are trained to offer help and support to those who need it.

Key information

  • Length:
  • 5-week online programme
  • Frequency:
  • 1–1.5 hours per week for you to complete at a time that suits you.
  • England - Trainee Teachers  - FREE 17 Jul 2024
  • GB - Youth Groups  - FREE 22 Jul 2024

Course details

Length and timings

Our Mental Health Champions – Foundation programme is a 5-week training course. The course is online, so you can join it from anywhere in the country.

  • There are multiple regular start dates for you to choose from.
  • The course is broken down into 15-minute sections to fit around your day - in total, you would spend about 1-1.5 hours per week towards the programme.
  • You can access the course from any device and work through it at a pace that suits you.


Our Mental Health Champions – Foundation programme is split into four modules. Each module is then divided into smaller sections so you can complete the course in a way that fits in with your day.

Module 1: Understanding mental health and wellbeing

We introduce factors that contribute to positive mental health and wellbeing. You will:

  • start to think about mental health in the same way you consider physical health
  • develop an awareness of your own emotional literacy and intelligence
  • consider how your emotional literacy and intelligence can impact the children and adults you work with
  • understand the effect of early relationship experiences on later relationships
  • have a basic understanding of Attachment Theory.

Module 2: Nature and nurture

We explore how early experiences shape the way we perceive ourselves and relate to others. You will:

  • consider emotional development as an aspect of overall development
  • think about how teachers, schools and youth workers can provide an alternative relational experience
  • understand risks and protective factors and their impact on physical and mental health
  • start to see how the psychological and physical aspects of development are intertwined.

Module 3: How can I help?

We consider what a child’s behaviour might communicate about their underlying needs. You will:

  • find out about the connection between children’s feelings and their behaviours
  • understand why children become emotionally dysregulated and how to help them
  • learn Active Listening skills and the importance of empathy in supporting others
  • learn Emotion Coaching skills to support co-regulation in children.

Module 4: Everybody’s business

We reflect on the importance of positive mental health for everyone, focusing on the adults around a child.  You will learn:

  • why a whole school approach to mental health supports children, teachers and parents
  • how physical health and mental health are interconnected
  • how to look after your own mental health and emotional wellbeing
  • why mental ill-health is everybody’s business and nobody’s fault
  • how to work effectively with parents in the best interests of children
  • how to identify stress in the workplace and protect yourself from its negative effects
  • tips and strategies to care for your mental health.

Benefits of this course

By completing this course, you will:

  • increase your knowledge and understanding of mental health
  • improve your confidence when it comes to mental health
  • learn about the impact of childhood on mental health
  • develop ways to support your own wellbeing
  • be able to help a child or young person with their wellbeing
  • learn techniques to identify and respond early to mental health needs before they escalate
  • contribute to your continuing professional development (CPD).


Our free Mental Health Champions – Foundation Programme is accredited, has had award nominations and has won awards.

Support after the training

Once you complete our mental health training, you will also get access to the Place2Be Staffroom. Our Staffroom is an online community, where you can access additional resources and discuss tips and learning with other school staff, trainee teachers and professionals across the UK.

In the Staffroom, you can:

  • read content written by our clinicians about a variety of topics, including anxiety, bullying, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), neurodiversity, and staff wellbeing
  • stay connected with Place2Be clinicians beyond completing our programme
  • revisit key theory and learning from the Mental Health Champions – Foundation programme
  • gain access to new materials, classroom resources and tools to foster positive wellbeing in schools and youth groups
  • use exclusive PSHE-aligned Creative Wellbeing Projects from Place2Be’s Art Room
  • view live webinars and questions and answer sessions delivered by clinicians on a variety of mental health topics 
  • continue to learn about a whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing within your community
  • share your experiences and tips with your colleagues across the UK.

Who is it for?

We run versions of the Mental Health Champions – Foundation programme for teachers, school staff, trainee teachers and anyone who works with young people out of a school. All of these versions are free and online in open groups.

For private group prices, please get in touch with us.

To sign up for this course, please use the booking form at the bottom of this page. You can choose the group that's correct for you on this form.

If you're not sure if this training is suitable for you, please get in touch by emailing mhc@place2be.org.uk and one of our team will be able to help you.

I am a teacher or work in a school

The Teacher and School Staff programme is free to UK-qualified teachers and school-based staff. To be eligible for our free mental health training, you will need to have one of the following:

  • a UK Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
  • an Early Career Teacher (ECT) role
  • a Probationer role
  • a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) role
  • a school-based role, such as a Teaching Assistant.

Our Teacher and School Staff Mental Health Champions – Foundation programme is available to teachers and school staff in England, Scotland and Wales. You will have a dedicated Place2Be professional running your course to join discussions to enhance your online learning.

I am a trainee teacher

Our free mental health training for trainee teachers has an added focus on supporting you and your mental health as you enter the teaching workforce. We have designed it to complement and run alongside the Initial teacher training (ITT) core content framework.

The programme is for people training to become a teacher or on an early years course with a placement in school in England.

Our Trainee Teacher Mental Health Champions – Foundation programme is a self-facilitated course. Access expert insights from Place2Be professionals and join discussions to aid online learning.


I'm not a teacher but I work with young people

Our free mental health training for youth groups focuses on working with young people outside the school system. It’s free for youth workers and trusted adults who work with young people to support their development in care, informal education and leisure approaches.

Our training for youth groups is available to those in England, Scotland and Wales.

Our Mental Health Champions – Foundation programme for those who work with youth groups is a self-facilitated course.

More information

Not quite ready to sign up to our free mental health training?

Check out our frequently asked questions about our Mental Health Champions – Foundation Programme to find out the information you need.

If you require more information, please email mhc@place2be.org.uk and one of our team will be able to help you.


What I really liked about the training was that it didn't just give you the theory, but provided lots of ways to put this theory into practice...I also found the discussion element—where other teachers gave their feedback—really helpful

Teacher on Mental Health Champions – Foundation programme.

Counsellor with child who is smiling in school

Book now

Please make sure you register for the correct course group using the drop down menu below.

On the day the course begins, you will receive an email inviting you to join our learning platform. This is where you’ll find all the resources you need to complete the programme.

Get in touch with us for prices for closed groups.

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